Today's Lectionary Text
Romans 14:7-8We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
Our Easter celebrations have taken place. The Easter songs have been sung, lilies have bloomed, and the eggs have been found. In all the activity of the season, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the most incredible part of the journey of Christianity -- resurrection to new life. Imagine the wonder and mystery of it! Perhaps for many the Resurrection is the most difficult Christian doctrine to understand and accept. Early on in my ministry, I found a story which helped me to understand resurrection and helped me to share that understanding with others.
The story was from The Song of the Bird, by Father Anthony de Mello, a Catholic priest, and it contained the following story of The Salt Doll:
A salt doll journeyed for thousands of miles over land, until it finally came to the sea. The salt doll was fascinated by this strange moving mass, quite unlike anything it had ever seen before. “Who are you?” said the salt doll to the sea. The sea smiled and replied, “Come in and see.” So, the doll waded in. The farther it walked into the sea, the more the salt doll dissolved, until there was only a very little of it left. Before that last bit dissolved, the doll exclaimed in wonder, “Now I know who and what I am!”
Imagine, like the salt doll, embracing the mysterious and wonderful sea, which is the same substance as the salt doll, but also is so much more.
Is this what Paul meant that “whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s”? That when we are willing to lose ourselves and risk dissolving into the vastness of God the sea, or God the universe, then we get to say ‘now I know who and what I am! I am the Lord’s!’ When we die to ourselves as Jesus did, then we can become like Christ. Then we can find our true identity as the children of God.
As we go forward from Easter, let us live our lives honoring the image of God inside of us, and take the plunge into the sea.
-Rev. Galen Wray, retired
Prayer for Reflection
Creator God of the Sea and the Salt Doll, in this season of Eastertide, help us to embrace the wonder and the mystery of life and the time of becoming one with you. Amen
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